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Heartbreaking Santa photo with baby who didn't live to see Christmas goes viral

Caleb Ryan Sigmon is a Santa this season with a big beard and an even bigger heart.

He is working in the Athens area this Christmas and posted this heartbreaking photo and message on his public Facebook page:

"A man walked in today holding something in his arms. 'I have a request,' he said, turning around this picture frame. He took a moment. 'My son passed away, last year.' He choked up and couldn't finish his sentence. The entire photo set was silent. I said, 'Absolutely.'"

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"Without anyone saying anything, he handed me the frame and I placed it on my knee. In the photo, I could see on the little boy's armband that his first name was Hayden," the post continued. "I didn't ask any questions, but I am guessing that this is his first photo with Santa. The camera snap was the only sound I could hear through the entire mall. Normally, I hear all kinds of music and sounds, but it was absolutely silent. After a handful of clicks, we walked over to the screen and he pointed, saying, 'That's the one.'

"The girl working the computer printed him a full photo package and he pulled out his wallet, saying that this was going to be his gift to his wife. We gave him the printed package, telling him that it was a gift and that we would be praying for his family, this Christmas. He grabbed my hand and pulled me in and hugged me, then turned around and left. As he walked out, we all had tears in their eyes.

"I'm sharing this to remind us all that Christmastime is unbelievably hard for some families. Pray for the brokenhearted. Smile at people. Just be kind. Love one another."

The post has been shared and liked more than 100,000 times.

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About the Author

Jennifer Brett is a multiplatform journalist and digital coach. She writes The Buzz blog for accessAtlanta.com.

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